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Bauer lives out dream at Rider

When Rider University senior and 2016 Salisbury High School graduate Lindsay Bauer looks back on her career, she can do it with a smile. That’s because for the last eight-plus years as a track and field athlete has lived out her dream of competing at the highest of levels.

“It’s been quite the ride,” said Bauer. “And I just want to say thank you to Rider and Salisbury, and to my parents, for letting me jump around, play in the sand, and live out an absolute dream.”

If winning is fun then Bauer had a great time playing in the sand.

The former Salisbury Press Female Athlete of the Year, Bauer’s accolades as a Falcon include 48 career medals, six school records, a four-time PIAA State qualifier and six-time PIAA medalist, and received All-Area and All-State honors in 2015 on the track. She was also a 1,000-point scorer and an All-Colonial League and All-Area honoree on the basketball court, while also competing in the classroom, earning Colonial League Scholar-Athlete recognition.

“My successes at Salisbury definitely set me up for competition at the Division 1 level,” Bauer said. “I went into Rider with a bit of an edge. I was excited, confident and hungry for more.”

After high school, Bauer had a number of options to continue her athletic career at the collegiate level.

“I chose Rider because they made me feel wanted,” said Bauer. “I knew I could make an immediate impact for the program, and I knew that I’d be a valuable member of the team.

“Before college, things were simple and life was pretty easy. I hadn’t known many challenges or faced much adversity. But once I got to Rider, school, sports, and life definitely put me to the test. I had to fight and claw my way through some tough times, but, I learned and grew from every experience. My three and a half years as a Bronc changed me for sure, but I can honestly say that I’m so much stronger and so much better off because of it.”

At Rider, Bauer had a busy schedule. Outside of the normal classroom hours and study halls, she also competed in three events (high jump, long jump, triple jump) in both the indoor and outdoor seasons, which usually last around 6-7 months.

“I always wanted to be the best, in practice and in competition,” Bauer said. “You learn to celebrate and appreciate the great practices, and to bury your head, keep working, and grind through the bad ones. Competing at a high level is also about knowing your limits, and that’s something I learned the hard way.

“I sustained a traumatic ankle injury at the beginning of last year. Because I’m so stubborn, I kept practicing and competing through the pain. It was a long and frustrating road to recovery, but I was more careful with myself this year, and ended up having the best indoor season of my career.”

Bauer has seen the success from her high school years carry over into college. As a sophomore in 2018, she won a silver medal with a second-place finish in the long jump at the MAAC Outdoor Championships thanks to a college-best mark of 5.79m. She also earned a pernal best of 1.60 meters in the high jump for a sixth-place finish last year at MAAC Indoor Championships. Rider also won the team championship at MAAC’s indoor season last month.

“Winning that silver was one of the most special moments of my career,” said Bauer. “And if this indoor season ends up being my last, it was a good one to go out on. We won the team championship by half point, and I received the MAAC Field Performer of the Week award back in January. I walk away as one of the best long jumpers to ever come through Rider. And I scored points in all seven championships I competed in.”

After the highs of winning a conference championship, Bauer and her teammates were forced to deal with the news, like many other student-athletes across the country, that the spring season would be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Heartbreak is the only way to describe that feeling,” said Bauer. “And of course, there were tears. Track and field has been a part of my life for eight years now, and I knew it would end eventually -- but not quite yet, and not like this. Any track athlete will tell you that there’s nothing like competing outdoors. We look forward to it all year. I was eager to get one more shot at redemption. I wanted my parents to see me compete one last time. But instead, I got stuck saying way too many goodbyes that I wasn’t ready for.”

With the NCAA granting senior spring student-athletes an extra year of eligibility to use next year, Bauer says she is still undecided if she will use it, but wants to finish her journey the right way.

At the end of the spring semester, Bauer, who holds a 3.96 GPA, will be graduating with a BA in elementary education.

PHOTO COURTESEY OF RIDER COLLEGE ATHLETICSSalisbury graduate Lindsay Bauer's senior college season came to an abrupt end recently when the NCAA cancelled 2020 spring sports because of cornonavirus.